'A Newly Graduated Programmer Could Earn More Than $5000 A Year'

On Budget eve, it seems appropriate to remind ourselves of the effects of inflation. Back in 1970, if you could snaffle a programming job, untold riches awaited! But in those days, untold riches was $5000 a year.

This detail comes to us courtesy of the Australian Women's Weekly of 23 September 1970. In a profile of Thai computer trainee Joanne Na SongkNa, who travelled to Sydney to study, it lifts the lid on "the mod, mod world of the computer business".

And what did that mod, mod world promise?

The computer industry offers high salaries to young men and women with commonsense, adaptability, and keen, logical minds. These salaries are open to people just out of school and after some weeks of intensive study. Joanne Na Songkhla, 23, is young and pretty and, as a newly graduated programmer could earn more than $5000 a year. (Salaries in the computer industry are established by personal negotiation, not by awards, so it is difficult to give accurate figures.)

The number of jobs was somewhat smaller 40 years ago, but the future seemed bright:

It is an industry young in years (15 years ago in Australia it hardly existed, now there are about 950 computers in the country) and in its management (directors are often under 40 and head staff are young).

The bosses are still often young, but most everything else has shifted -- including the pay.

It Computes [Australian Women's Weekly via Trove]


    > 15 years ago in Australia it hardly existed, now there are about 950 computers in the country

    Haha. Made me giggle.

    Still waiting for the div with the video to render in, or isn't there one? Wait another 20 secs to be sure. #Aus internet

    Last edited 12/05/15 9:36 pm

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